Kate Ellison of the blog Southern Scrawl has changed her name to Kate Avery Ellison. She's also got a book available on Kindle from Amazon. Congratulations to her on the publication of Once Upon a Beanstalk. There's another Kate Ellison. This Kate has a book, The Butterfly Clues, due out next year. If anybody knows this second Kate Ellison, could you please point her in the direction of Southern Scrawl so Kate Avery Ellison can forward the lovely emails she's been getting for her?
The girls go back to school tomorrow. The beginning of September has always been my New Year, the time when I make plans and set goals. This year is going to be slightly different in that the only goals I'm going to set are writing ones. I'm posting one of them here in the hope that I might work on that procrastination habit of mine, and hold myself accountable. Well, anything's worth trying, right?
The big goal, then, is to stop faffing about. A few words written here and there followed by deletion, is no good to anyone. I can tell myself it's okay, it happens to everyone. Or I can realise that aiming to one day be a professional writer means behaving in a professional manner. This is why I've ripped the guts out of my current wip and am, to all intents and purposes, starting again. My big goal then, is to have the first draft of this story finished by the end of October. I have other opportunities that I won't be able to take advantage of if I don't do this properly. Playtime is over and the new term has started.
Talking of procrastination, here's what can happen when you suffer from it. Today is a perfect day to tell you this story as it was the final day of the football (soccer) transfer window. (Mixed fortunes for my team). Readers who have been around for a while may remember this post. For those who don't want to read it, it tells of an idea I wrote down in my early teens that later turned up as much of the plot line in the film Sleeping with the Enemy. It happens of course, there's no such thing as an original idea. To be fair, at the time I wasn't ready to write any novel, let alone that one.
It was a different matter last Summer. That's when I first began to think seriously about trying to write a novel. I thought about the old old adage 'write about what you know', and this is the outline I came up with:
Summer is 15. She has supported Liverpool FC all of her life, it's something she shares with her dad. She's never seen them play live as they live on the other side of the country. Her father gets tickets to the 2005 Champions League final to be held in Istanbul, Turkey.* Dad dies a few weeks before the match and Summer decides to run away to Europe to watch the match, taking her father's ashes with her. The story will end with her walking into the stadium at the start of the match.
There were a lot of notes, but that was the basic premise. I love Liverpool FC and I was really excited about this idea, but then that nasty little voice crept in. The one that told me it was a stupid idea, that boys wouldn't read a book about a girl, and girls wouldn't read a book 'about football'. I should have written it anyway, because it was the story I wanted to tell. Instead I wrote something else, that turned out to be a novella rather than a novel.
A few days ago, whilst struggling with the current wip I decided to make some more notes for my football tale. Whilst doing research I found this story (and how did I miss this back in May?) Again, for those who don't want to read it, it's a news story discussing an upcoming film about a boy who runs away to Istanbul to watch the 2005 Champions League Final in memory of his dead father. If there's something you really want to write, just write it. Before somebody else does.
*This final is widely held to be the best ever in the history of the competition. Liverpool, the underdogs, were 3-0 down at half time. Nobody had ever come back to win from that deficit in this competition, much less against AC Milan. They finished the match 3-3, then Liverpool won the championship 3-2 on penalties.